Women in Training, Inc. (WIT) is a youth empowerment organization that advocates for menstrual equity and menstrual education, and engages girls and nonbinary youth, ages 10 to 18, in community service and social justice. WITKITS® is the organization’s signature program for supporting people in need.
When Brooke and Breanna Bennett learned that there are girls who “spot” on their clothing because they cannot afford sanitary pads, or skip school because they are ashamed of their classmates seeing their soiled clothing, the twins were seeing period poverty in their community.
Period poverty is the lack of access to necessary sanitary supplies and menstruation education, which affects school and work attendance, social life, and physical and emotional health.
As they began to understand the devastating consequences of period poverty, Brooke and Breanna took action! In honor of their twelfth birthday, July 17, 2019, their mom started a Facebook birthday campaign to ask family members and friends to donate money for WITKITS, marking the beginning of what is now Women in Training, Inc. (WIT). Their signature program became the WITKITS Campaign. WITKITS are canvas bags packed with menstrual and hygiene supplies.
Listen to this Feminist Hotdog podcast, featuring Brooke, Breanna, and other guests, to learn more about period poverty. And check out WIT's main website to keep up with upcoming events.
"Every girl needs sanitary items to stay clean and healthy during her period."
Photo by Jill Friedman
A Message from Our Chairwoman
Barbara J. Wells
What a memorable year it has been for Women in Training, Inc., or WIT! Just a year ago, in July 2019, the mustard seed of the idea for this organization formed when Brooke and Breanna conceived of dedicating their birthday to raising funds to help alleviate poverty. The vision for the organization has grown to encompass not only supplying youth in poverty with hygiene supplies, but also providing valuable menstrual education services, advocating for legislative action to provide government support for hygiene supplies for impoverished youth across Alabama, and engaging youth in community service and social justice issues.
This inaugural year has seen WIT grow in wonderful ways from this small and generous act into the creation of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a fully functioning and diverse board. Working with this board, the WIT Youth Ambassadors. and numerous volunteers, WIT has reached some important milestones in a short period of time, including the following:
Distributed more than 700 WITKITS containing menstrual and hygiene products, menstrual education materials, and personal touches to honor and value the recipients, who are menstruating youth living in low-income situations. The assistance does not stop with this initial delivery, as we resupply WITKIT recipients on a regular basis, even during the global pandemic.
Published and distributed A Young Woman’s Guide to the Menstrual Cycle. Dr. LaToya Clark, a board member and Montgomery obstetrician and gynecologist, created this easy-to-understand brochure.
Partnered with area organizations, like New Beginnings Educational Center, Reality & Truth Ministries, That’s My Child, Common Ground Montgomery, Brantwood Children’s Home, and Aid to Inmate Mothers to bring menstrual education and WITKITS to youth involved with those organizations.
Inspired and advocated for House Bill 237, a bill Alabama Representatives Rolanda Hollis and Tashina Morris cosponsored. This bill proposed funding free sanitary pads for more than 200,000 youth in Alabama’s public schools. While COVID-19 ended the legislative session before the bill could pass, advocacy on this issue will continue in the next legislative session.
Cosponsored the Justice for George Floyd Protest Rally at the Alabama Department of Archives and History on June 6, 2020. The peaceful rally, the largest in Montgomery this year, brought together people of all ages and identities to call for social justice and peace.
Elevated our organization's visibility and profile through the numerous awards and acknowledgments Brooke and Breanna received in our inaugural year for their work, including the Prudential Spirit of Community Award and the Martin Luther King Legacy Award for Community Service presented by the Alpha Upsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Because we are a new organization, we had so much to do, but with the vision of Brooke and Breanna, our CEO, and our board, we have made great strides. We are thrilled to have a board that is not only composed of community leaders, but is also representative of the community we serve. We invite you to visit our website for more information about our mission and our members.
I am proud of our progress, and I look forward to more in the coming year. Please be sure to let people know that they can subscribe to our social media channels to follow our journey and learn of exciting opportunities to participate. While the pandemic required the cancellation of the WIT Tea Party, our large fundraising event, we continue to push to grow our organization’s ability to help our community while providing important opportunities to connect youth with community service.
A Review of Our First Year
Wow! We can’t believe it’s been a whole year since Women in Training was born!
Honestly, in the early days, we thought WIT would gather a group of friends to sit around and talk about social justice issues, engage in a few community service projects, and give away a few WITKITS of free period supplies every three months. The reality has been sooo much greater than we even imagined. As the old people at church say: “But, God!”
Thank you to the WIT Board of Directors, WIT Youth Ambassadors, our friends, family members, and even complete strangers who believe in our vision of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beloved Community.” Together, we will replace racism, sexism, violence, and poverty with a world of peace, love, justice, and abundance!
Peace and Love,
Breanna and Brooke Bennett
What We've Done
Our Actions and Events
Distributed More Than 700 WITKITS
WITKITS are canvas bags filled with sanitary pads and hygiene supplies. Since the onset of COVID-19, Women in Training also includes personal protective equipment in each WITKIT. Volunteers distribute the WITKITS monthly to youth at agencies that serve low-income youth.
Women in Training has raised awareness about period poverty by simply talking about the issue.
Breanna and Brooke have courageously, calmly, and gracefully participated in television and newspaper interviews and in national and international podcasts, and they've spoken at Zoom and in-person conferences about the dreaded "P" words--menstrual period and poverty.
Raised Awareness About Period Poverty
Inspired Legislative Change: H.B. 237
Alabama State Representative Rolanda Hollis of Birmingham sponsored House Bill 237, which called for public schools nurses to provide free sanitary pads to students who receive free- or reduced-price lunch. Representative Tashina Morris of Montgomery cosponsored the bill. Unfortunately, the legislative session ended early because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember it when the session resumes!
Dr. LaToya Clark, obstetrician-gynecologist at Jackson Hospital in Montgomery, and the WIT Medical Director, wrote this educational pamphlet to provide easy-to-understand information on periods and reproductive health. The goal is to remove the stigma that surrounds menstruation. WIT freely distributes the pamphlet internationally and throughout the U.S. to youth groups.
Published and Distributed 2,200 copies of A Young Woman's Guide to the Menstrual Cycle
People Behind it All
Our Volunteers and Team Members
Brooke and Breanna Bennett
Barbara J. Wells
President and Chairwoman
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. LaToya Clark
President and Chairwoman-Elect and Medical Director
Stephanie A. McCorvey
Board of Directors
Dr. LaKeshia Thomas
Dr. Lee A. Farrow
Judge Brooke Reid
Inaugural WIT Tea Party Committee Member
Communication Committee Chair
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Liaison
Junior League of Montgomery Liaison
Brooke and Breanna Bennett and
Beyond the permanent positions on the board, so many volunteers have helped WIT. Check out who they are and all of the wonderful ways they are helping to combat period poverty.
Support that Made it Possible
Our Honors and Awards
Several organizations and people have made generous donations to help WIT exceed its initial goal of spreading awareness of period poverty, and providing a few monthly donations of sanitary pads.